Once Elizabeth Lyon found radio, everything clicked. And now, after six years working behind the scenes at Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media, she’s joining the classical ranks as our assistant program director and fill-in host.
Growing up in Northfield, Minn., she was deeply entrenched in the choral music community, with aspirations to become a choral director. Things changed, however, when she was given the opportunity to work with a choir when making a recording.
“I remember during the recording process just wanting to know everything that was going on on the other side of the glass,” she says.
This curiosity led her to a degree in audio production and an eventual internship with Minnesota radio station Cities 97, where she was able to learn the ins and outs of audio broadcasting.
For the past six years, you’ve probably heard Lyon’s work in some capacity. As a master control specialist in the International Control Center, she was a part of the team responsible for monitoring on-air operations and responding to technical emergencies. She also has done voice tracking and audio production for our classical programming over the years, and has served as a board operator and producer for live broadcasts from the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera.
Her experience with live broadcasts got her hooked on classical production.
“I basically was able to attend the concert in a way, and whenever I hear a great orchestra or soloist I just want to sit and listen,” she says.
Her new role is able to combine her love of working technically, behind-the-scenes, as well as stepping in front of the microphone to share her favorite music. As the assistant program director, she’ll be working to coordinate programming, serve as an on-air host and dip her toes in every part of the department. That’s what she loves most about working in radio: “It’s like a river you flow on and you don’t know where you’ll end up, but you love the ride.”
Although a violinist by training, her favorite classical composers are tied to her roots in choral music. Eric Whitacre, Rene Claussen and most Minnesota choral composers rise to the top of her list.
When not doing all things audio, Elizabeth can be found hiking, reading, or volunteering with programs that benefit children. While she usually is a fan of mystery novels, over the past year she’s been leaning into books that lift her spirits.
“I’ve been reading a lot of happy and charming books since last January,” she says. “It’s so easy to get sucked into negativity, and I aim to be a positive person.”
After working behind the scenes and mainly as a troubleshooter when things go wrong, she’s excited to be a part of classical’s day-to-day activities when things go right.
“I love everyone in the department. and I’ve seen them at their most stressed,” she says. “It’s been fun and exciting to work with them while they’re at their best.”
Elizabeth Lyon will heard at various times on-air as a regular fill-in host.
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